What You Need to Become a Truck Driver

Truck drivers are essential to keep our country running smoothly. Anything you buy in stores has likely been brought there by a commercial driver. Because this job is so important, the demand for qualified drivers grows each year. A driving career is rewarding and high-paying and you can earn more than $64,000 a year*. If this sounds like the career for you, here are some of the things you need to become a truck driver:

Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)

In order to operate a tractor-trailer or other commercial vehicle, you need to possess a commercial driver’s license. This is a bare minimum requirement for just about every job in the trucking industry. You earn your CDL by passing two different tests, a written permit test and a skills test.
The written permit test covers safe driving information and basic facts about operating commercial vehicles. The skills test will require you to actually operate a truck and demonstrate basic road skills such as backing, turning, and parking. When you attend CDL classes such as those at Phoenix Truck Driving School, you get the preparation you need to confidently pass both portions of the CDL test.

Completing Truck Driving School

While you can become a truck driver without attending any CDL classes or truck driver training, completing a program at a licensed truck driving school can help. Many trucking companies are hesitant to hire new truck drivers who only have a CDL, as these new drivers may not have the experience necessary to safely operate a commercial vehicle. When you complete CDL training, trucking companies know that you learned important safety information and that you are committed to your new career. Completing your training can be a simple process. At Phoenix Truck Driving School, we offer accelerated courses to get you on the road in as little as four weeks. We also offer financial assistance for students who qualify. In addition, many truck driving jobs offer tuition reimbursement to help you pay for your education. In the end, completing a licensed training program can be a valuable investment for your career as a truck driver.

Know What Type of Trucking Job You Want

Once you do complete your training and start looking for truck driving jobs, it’s important to know what sort of job you want. Not all truck drivers do the same type of work and you should find a job that matches your desired lifestyle and salary expectations. For example, long haul drivers usually make more, but may spend more time on the road away from home. Local drivers may not make as much each paycheck, but the schedule can be more flexible to accommodate family time. You can also consider working as a team driver, where you will work with other truck drivers to deliver goods
more quickly and earn more money. Whichever type of trucking career you want to start, Phoenix Truck Driving School can help you succeed. We offer accelerated CDL classes to get you on the road and working as a truck driver as quickly as possible. Contact us today to learn more about our programs.

*Professional truck drivers earn a mean annual wage of $44,500
(https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes533032.htm). The top 10% of truck drivers make more than $64,000
per year according to the 2017 Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Your Guide to CDL Endorsements

Obtaining a commercial driver’s license (CDL) is your first step to a high-paying career as a truck driver. This license requires you to pass a written permit test and a hands-on skills test in order to demonstrate your ability to drive a commercial motor vehicle. In addition to the basic knowledge and skills tests, you can also add endorsements. These additional certifications show that you have learned safety and operational skills beyond the standard CDL requirements. At Phoenix Truck Driving School, we help you earn three CDL endorsements: Tanks, Doubles/Triples, and Hazardous Materials.


This is known either as the Tanks or Tanker endorsement. It demonstrates that the CDL holder has the knowledge required to operate a vehicle including a tank that transports liquid or gaseous materials. Tanker trucks transport fuel to gas stations across the nation. They can also transport any type of liquid from water to industrial chemicals. Due to the high demand for tanker drivers, a CDL tanker endorsement may help you land a truck driving job more quickly. The tanker test will cover basic safety regulations for transporting liquids in a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). The test will require you to understand what exactly a tank is and how it differs from other types of vehicles. One big safety issue you will be tested on is surge, which is how liquids move during transport. Your instructors at Phoenix Truck Driving School will help you thoroughly prepare for any questions on your tanker endorsement test.


A standard semi-truck will only carry one trailer. However, some trucks can include two or three attached trailers in order to transport more cargo. These are known as doubles and triples or Longer Combination Vehicles (LCVs). Driving a LCV requires an additional CDL endorsement. Your CDL test for the doubles and triples endorsement covers basic knowledge you need to safely operate a LCV. This includes understanding how to attach multiple trailers, how to drive a LCV around other motorists, and rules for double/triple inspection. Adding a Doubles and Triples endorsement to your Class A CDL allows you to operate these higher-capacity vehicles, allowing you to potentially earn more as a truck driver. Our classes at Phoenix Truck Driving School cover all the information you need to pass the additional knowledge test for this endorsement.

Hazardous Materials

Semi-trucks can transport a wide variety of goods and this can include hazardous materials. A hazardous material (or hazmat) endorsement for your CDL allows you to transport substances that the Department of Transportation labels as potentially harmful to human health. Drivers who obtain a CDL endorsement for hazmat can earn more per mile than other truck drivers. This endorsement has a slightly different process, as the Department of Transportation requires a full background check for any truck driver looking to add a hazmat endorsement. Certain criminal offenses can disqualify you. Our team at Phoenix Truck Driving School can go over these in detail with you to determine whether or not you qualify.

Earn Your CDL and Endorsements

Complete your CDL training at Phoenix Truck Driving School to earn your license as well as these three endorsements. We do all that we can to help our students succeed as truck drivers. This includes providing additional training to set you apart from other recent CDL graduates. Call us today to learn more about our training programs.